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Mulam language

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Title: Mulam language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Kam–Sui languages, Languages of China, Tai–Kadai languages, Gelao language, E language
Collection: Guangxi, Kam–sui Languages, Languages of China
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Mulam language

Native to China
Region Luocheng County, Hechi, northern Guangxi
Ethnicity 210,000 (2000 census)[1]
Native speakers
86,000 (2005)[1]
< 10,000 monolinguals
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mlm
Glottolog mula1253[2]

The Mulam language Chinese: 仫佬; pinyin: Mùlǎo is a Kam–Sui language spoken mainly in Luocheng County, Hechi, northern Guangxi by the Mulao people. The greatest concentrations are in Dongmen and Siba communes. Their autonym is mu6 lam1. The Mulam also call themselves kjam1, which is probably cognate with lam1 and the Dong people's autonym "Kam" (Wang & Zheng 1980).

The Mulam language, like Dong, does not have voiced stops. However, it does contain unvoiced and voiced nasals and laterals. Its vowel system contains eleven vowels. It is a tonal language with ten tones and 65% of their vocabulary is shared with the Zhuang and Dong languages.

Since the Ming dynasty, Chinese characters have been utilized to read and write the Mulam language. The majority of the Mulam also speak Chinese as well as the Zhuang and Dong languages.


Mulam dialects as described by Wang & Zheng (1980) include (all of which are spoken in Luocheng Mulao Autonomous County):

  • Dongmen 东门镇 (in Dayin 大银, Dafu 大福村, Le'e 勒俄村 etc.)
  • Long'an 龙岸镇 (in Liangsi 良泗, etc.)
  • Huangjin 黄金镇 (in Zhongjian 中间寨, etc.)
  • Qiaotou 桥头镇 (in Dongnong 洞弄屯, etc.)
  • Siba 四把镇 (in Dawu 大梧, Miao'er 苗儿屯, Shuangzhai 双寨村, etc.)
  • Xiali 下里乡 (in Xiecun 谢村, etc.)


  1. ^ a b Mulam at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^
  • Edmondson, Jerold A. and David B. Solnit, eds. Comparative Kadai: Linguistic studies beyond Tai. Summer Institute of Linguistics Publications in Linguistics, 86. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics and the University of Texas at Arlington, 1988.
  • 王均, 郑国乔 / Wang Jun, Zheng Guoqiao. 仫佬语简志 / Mulao yu jian zhi (A Sketch of Mulao [Mulao]). Beijing: 民族出版社: 新華書店发行 / Min zu chu ban she: Xin hua shu dian fa xing, 1980.

External links

  • Mulam (Dongmen) word list from the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database
  • Mulam (Siba) word list from the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database
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